Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951)

I fell in love with Ava Gardner some time ago, I know she was a little trouble maker, broke hearts as well as furniture, but I adore her,  it happened one afternoon when I was younger and Barefoot Contessa came on the television, I was like oh my isn't she feisty with her dark locks and red lips, who doesn't like shoes and wears shawls and men fall at her feet and she can dance, I want to be her. Since then I like drawing a line on my chin to pretend I am like her (not really?). Oh and when I was about eight I started a fan collection, because I wanted to be a flamenco dancer I think I got to about three fans, need to start that again. 

So I was rather chuffed when I found Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951), which is based on the Flying Dutchman a legend about a cursed ghost ship that cannot make port. The film stars James Mason as Hendrick van der Zee the love stricken 16th century Dutchman who is to wander eternally on the seas for killing his wife, who he believed was unfaithful to him (turns out she wasn't, darn it). Hendrick is permitted six months a shore every seven years to find a woman that is willing to die for him, only then can he be set free.  Lucky for Hendrick, it turns out that Pandora Reynolds, played by Ava, an American nightclub singer who has men destructing their most prized possessions and themselves takes quite a fancy to him. 

The cinematography is by the extremely talented Jack Cardiff who worked with Powell & Pressburger, honestly the technicolour is just beautiful, I wished real life looked like this. He worked on some of my favourite films; The Red Shoes and Barefoot Contessa. The film is suppose to be set in the 1930s but even me with my limited knowledge of dating clothes can tell its pure 1950s, but it still does not detract from the films beauty. Plus it is set in Spain, which was Ava's second home, and has matador's in it, she loved her a good matador. Please do excuse the excessive screen capping aha. 






The guy above, Marius Goring has also starred in The Red Shoes, he falls for Pandora, but when he confesses his undying love and she is indifferent to him, he poisons himself... that's just not going to get her is it?




On the beach in a gown, enough said. 



Toasting marsh mallows never looked so glamourous. 


Ava does the Grecian look so well. 


Cape spot!






This is purely for Dad's Army fans, I know there's at least one of you.



Now call me blasphemous but I do not get James Mason, yeah he has a distinctive voice, good hair, but I never find him charismatic or interesting, maybe I haven't seen him play the right role?



Now nerdy professor chic is just delightful. 



Matador o'clock! Mario Cabr√© plays one of Pandora's suitors; turns out he was actually a bull fighter and him and Ava supposedly got involved during the filming of this. 



Someone ran off with the sandwiches, but seriously I need all the women's clothes.


How divine is this star suit?







This is how you cry beautifully.



The veil and dress are just stunning.



I want this apartment.



Beautiful embroidery, but camel toe?


I think this hat is very Tudoresque, Pandora's homage to Anne Boleyn perhaps, or a signal of her past life? 


Yeah you should definitely watch it even though I have shown you half the film...

Screen caps by me, for once. 

13 comments:

  1. Ava is my absolute, hands-down favourite as well. :)

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  2. Ha ha Hannah I am loving your commentary it made me chuckle. I have not seen this film but now I am going to have to. It just looks so beautiful. I love Ava ( and Dads Army) Spain and Jack Cardiff what more could I want. Amazing post thanks for sharing. X

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  3. Oh she was a stunner! I am currently reading her autobiography which is great (I had no idea she was once married to Mickey Rooney!) I am with you on the James Mason thing I remember seeing him in George Girl where he plays a very creepy sleazy guy...he must been a very good at it as what ever I see him in now I see that creepy character!

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  4. James Mason fan checking in! Have you seen The Upturned Glass? I enjoyed that one a lot.

    I've never seen Pandora and the Flying Dutchman. I'll have to keep an eye out for it, because I'm a fan of Jack Cardiff, as well.

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  5. Miss Tallulah: She is just a wonder to watch on screen isn't she!

    Kelly Marie: Hah I never know whether to be serious about film write up or not, I never really have the energy to a proper film critique so I just do a lazy one aha. Glad you enjoyed it.x

    Wendy: Oh yeah she was so young when she married him, well they both were, her autobiography is an excellent read. Yeah suppose he must of been good if you still picture him as a creep hah x

    Lauren: Aaaw hope I didn't upset you, I can't say I have will have a look for it. You can watch this on stagevu x

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  6. Fark me,what amazing frocks!!I haven't seen this film,and I think I simply MUST!Frigging stupendously gorgeous woman,Ava,and a real fiesty character,I believe!I am quite keen get hold of a bio,I reckon her life was probably rather spicey!I did hear once that Frank Sinatra found her in bed with another woman,amongst other things.Yeah!Fabulous.Her being married to Mickey Rooney at one point is just weird!
    I love when you get all enthused and go mad with screen caps!
    XXX

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  7. What beautiful costumes, I must watch this film!
    From Carys of La Ville Inconnue

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  8. I am just questioning the scene that shows the inclusion of the headstand/handstand on the beach to reveal the stiped panties....50's take on planking perhap? Thoughts.....

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  9. Helga: Her autobiography is definitely worth reading, she was very different to most Hollywood actresses of her day, except for Elizabeth Taylor; they both just did what they wanted and who hah. I am so glad you appreciate my screen capping addiction x

    Carys: They are gorgeous, very inspiring indeed.

    Lipstick and Licorice: Fab name! yeah there is this random scene where everyone seems to be going crazy on the beach, doesn't seem as dangerous as planking though aha

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  10. Screen capping is addicting, so no apologies needed! That bullfighting scene made Ava shine as much as those bedazzled toreros because she stands out deceptively like a four-leaf clover among those dark-suited men. Of course, she brought men no luck at all.;)

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    1. So glad you understand! I am always like oh just one more, or where was that shot with such and such. Yeah she was not a lucky charm, but by golly she was a dame and a half.

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    2. Well, I think James Mason was gorgeous in his prime. I suspect that most of the people commenting have never seen him at his peak. He took your breath away, dark, brooding eyes, cheekbones like blades, and a mouth that was x-rated. I recommend The Man in Grey, The Wicked Lady, Odd Man Out, The Seventh Veil, The Upturned Glass, They Were Sisters, Julius Caesar, and that's just for starters.

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    3. Well, I think James Mason was gorgeous in his prime. I suspect that most of the people commenting have never seen him at his peak. He took your breath away, dark, brooding eyes, cheekbones like blades, and a mouth that was x-rated. I recommend The Man in Grey, The Wicked Lady, Odd Man Out, The Seventh Veil, The Upturned Glass, They Were Sisters, Julius Caesar, and that's just for starters.

      Delete